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Everett Public Library staff |
Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 8:00 a.m.

Fictional Marilyn makes you want answers about the real one

  • EPLS catalog

A good book always makes me want to learn more about its contents, yet I seldom make the effort. But that will change with the advent of Mr. Peabody's Corner of Research and Revelation. Here I will explore items related to a recent read, follow up on topics of interest and provide you, the blog reader, with the opportunity to do the same.

Today's starting point is a historical mystery by Max Allan Collins titled Bye Bye, Baby. In this story, PI Nathan Heller is hired by Marilyn Monroe to protect her from potential unknown threats. As the tale unfolds we learn of Monroe's intimate relationships with both John and Robert Kennedy, JFK's incessant womanizing and ties with the mob, and brother Robert's infidelity and flexible morality. The author also provides plausible conspiracy theories which explain Marilyn's death. Other characters of interest in this book include Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Chicago crime boss Sam Giancana.

As I read this piece of historical fiction, questions arise and I wonder how much of the writing is factual, how much is speculative, and how much is simply fabricated to make an interesting story. So here are some of my questions and some titles that might provide answers.

What is the generally accepted explanation for Marilyn Monroe's death?

My Week with Marilyn
Marilyn Revealed: The Ambitious Life of an American Icon

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
My Story
The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe

JFK is remembered as one of the greatest presidents, but what was the reality of his personal character?

The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled
Brothers in Arms: The Kennedys, The Castros, and the Politics of Murder
The John F. Kennedy Handbook
Forty Ways to Look at JFK
Private Lives/Public Consequences: Personality and Politics in Modern America

Robert Kennedy is known for his harsh stance against organized crime. Did this public persona hide an unrepentant womanizer who was willing to compromise his ideals?

Bobby and J. Edgar: The Historic Face-Off Between the Kennedys and J.
Edgar Hoover that Transformed America
Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story
Bringing Down the Mob: The War Against the American Mafia

How did Marilyn die? Did she have affairs with both John and Robert Kennedy? Was JFK involved with organized crime?

That's What They Want You to Think: Conspiracies Real, Possible and Paranoid
The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence
The Encyclopedia of Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories
Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia

What kind of a person was Frank Sinatra and what kind of involvement did he have with organized crime?

Sinatra in Hollywood
Sinatra: The Life
Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey & the Last Great Showbiz Party

Peter Lawford was a member of Sinatra's rat pack, but was also JFK's brother-in-law. What was his role in Marilyn's death and in the Kennedy's lives?

The Leading Men of MGM

Was Chicago crime lord Sam Giancana employed by JFK's administration to assassinate Fidel Castro? Did Giancana and Kennedy share a mistress?

Double Deal: The Inside Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption and the Cop Who Was a Mobster

Can't talk anymore, gotta research.

Be sure to visit A Reading Life for more reviews and news of all things happening at the Everett Public Library.
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